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A group of Democrats in Congress introduced a bill Thursday to control the rise in gas prices and impose greater restrictions on oil companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell, which they accuse of inflating prices.
The legislation was introduced at the same time in both houses of Congress by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), all Democrats.
“Prices are rising, and consumers are paying more, while giant corporations are using inflation as a cover to expand their profits,” declared Warren, one of the most progressive voices in the Democratic Party, in a statement.
The so-called “Price Gouging Prevention Act of 2022” seeks to end all “arbitrary” price hikes, although it has gained traction for targeting energy companies.
Democrats, who control both houses of Congress, accuse those companies of purposely keeping gasoline production low to increase their profits, something the energy giants deny as they attribute the price hikes to the war in Ukraine.
Specifically, the bill would empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the general attorneys of all 50 states to investigate price hikes they deem excessive.
The vote on the bill could take place next week in the House of Representatives, Democrat House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, revealed at a press conference Thursday.
Gasoline prices currently average $4.4 a gallon ($1.16 a liter), way above the $2.90 a gallon ($0.77 a liter) from a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Democrats omit the lack of production
Despite the Democratic congress member’s accusations, companies have argued, that not just the lack of supply worldwide due to the war in Ukraine, but also the Biden administration’s omission of the shutdown of the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as the recent cancellation of oil and gas lease sales in Alaska are to blame for the rise in gas prices.